List of Hockey Skills

List of Ice Hockey Skills

Hockey is a unique sport because it takes place on an ice rink, forcing players to know how to skate. It also uses specialized equipment and padding. The list below will show the most basic skills needed in order to become a good hockey player.

List of Hockey Skills

Below is a list of the most important skills needed for hockey:


It is virtually impossible to play the sport of ice hockey if you do not know how to ice skate well. If you are just beginning, it is important to get skating lessons and become comfortable on the ice before joining a hockey team. Learning how to skate forward and backward and change directions quickly can take some time, which is why most hockey players start at a young age.


In order to master skating, you must know how to stop quickly without falling. This will help you avoid collisions with players during a game and get you where you need to go quickly. Being able to stop on a dime allows you to create separation from any players defending you or stay with an opponent that you are tasked with defending. It will also stop you from running into the boards or another player, which could result in injury.


Passing in hockey is difficult to master because you are not always passing directly to a teammate. Sometimes you have to indirectly pass the puck against the boards or place it in front of your teammate so that the opponent cannot reach it. There are two main types of passes; a regular pass and a saucer pass. A regular pass will stay on the ice, while a saucer pass is elevated to avoid obstacles such as opponents’ sticks and bodies. It is important to be proficient in both in order to play hockey well, though most beginners stick to regular passes.


Being a good shooter will help your team win because outscoring your opponent is what wins a game of hockey. The three most important kinds of shots in hockey are wrist shots, slapshots, and one-timers.

Wrist shots are the most basic type of shot and the quickest to execute. Slapshots require a player to wind up their stick before swinging it down at the puck and are typically more powerful shots. A one-timer is when you shoot the puck directly off of a pass without first controlling it; your first contact with the puck is with the slapshot motion.


Stickhandling is an important skill for protecting the puck from opponents. Good stickhandlers can weave around defenders without losing control of the puck. Stickhandling includes using dekes, which are special moves designed to escape defenders. Stickhandling is similar to dribbling in basketball while deking is similar to juking in football. Some players even have dekes named after them because they created and perfected that move. Probably the most famous example is “The Datsyuk,” named after Red Wings’ legendary stickhandler Pavel Datsyuk.

Pushing Off

This skill is good to have because it will help you keep up throughout the game. Pushing off is the action of accelerating quickly from a stationary position. It is called pushing off because players literally push themselves with their skate from the spot they were standing on the ice. This allows you to generate speed quickly. If you struggle with pushing off, you will be unable to keep up with the speed of the game.


Checking in hockey is used to put pressure on the puck carrier and force a turnover. There are three main types of legal checks: body checks, stick checks, and hip checks.

A body check is when a player uses their body to initiate contact with an opponent, usually leading with the shoulder. As the name implies, hip checks involve a player using their hip to make contact with an opponent. This is a dangerous type of hit because it often results in the player receiving the check going airborne. Unlike hip and body checks, a stick check involves a player using their stick to make contact with the puck carrier’s stick. They usually come in the form of a stick-lift or a poke check. Stick checking is less physical than body checks and hip checks, but just as effective defensively. Anyone can stick check each other, but only players carrying the puck can be body checked or hip checked. 


What are the most important attributes of a hockey player?

The most important attributes of a hockey player are skating ability, strength, and hand-eye coordination. If you do not move easily and quickly on skates, your success as a hockey player is immediately limited. Strength is also important in fending off checking attempts. Finally, hand-eye coordination is key for both shooting attempts and defensive maneuvers.

What are the most important skills in hockey?

The most important skills in hockey are skating, stopping, passing, and shooting. These are the basics that every hockey player will learn before playing competitively. Since skating and stopping are how a player moves around the ice, it is extremely important to be a good skater in hockey. Passing and shooting are how you move the puck around and create scoring chances, so they are also incredibly important skills.